Finding My Voice

For October, I’m trying to make a habit of writing a blog post each day (or, hopefully, writing more and scheduling them out). My poor blog has been neglected lately, but the reason has been because of one fundamental problem that took me months to finally figure out: What is the purpose of my blog?

In the past, I’ve tried to write posts that were for my audience, which I believed were web designers, developers, marketers and those interested in tech and gaming—people like me. It wasn’t until I really took a good, hard look at my site and blog and realized: I’m the audience. I’m writing for myself.

From the many articles about professional blogging on the web, I convinced myself that writing a blog just for myself is a terrible idea. It’s almost no different from writing a journal, one that’s shared with the world. Why would anyone care about what I have to say or how I write (and I’m certainly no professional writer).

But, right before October came around, I solved my dilemma: If I’m the audience, then I should write about whatever I want, as long as it makes me happy.

The awesome people at Quonders, an online group I belong to, are doing a writing challenge to write a post (nearly) every day. This was a perfect opportunity to reintroduce content to my blog.

And so, I began to write.

The first post was a love letter to my favorite month, October. Very well received and made me feel good writing it. It felt awesome.

The second post was my reaction to a great post with an unfortunate headline (and quick thoughts on how that could be changed). Written with a different side of passion, but both criticized and—in most cases—ignored. And even though I stand by my thoughts on we, as people, should be focused more on equality between the sexes, races and sexual preferences, something didn’t feel right about writing it.

I was more concerned with how people were going to react to a subject so sensitive than really focusing on what I was writing about. That, and I expected a complete backlash when I referenced Fox News as a good example for something (somehow, I’m still allowed to use a keyboard after that). And yes, I called out the post for being more of link bait, yet I intentionally chose a title to get attention the same way.

The interesting thing though: yesterday’s post generated almost as many views as my October post, yet only one person actually responded to the writing (and one person to the first comments I made on Twitter before the posting). The response generated a discussion on Twitter, but I’m not typically one for writing loaded articles like I did.

There’s a risk in being risqué.

But, as I thought about it last night and today, I found that I really wasn’t happy during the process of writing the post. And that’s the issue. A point I made on Twitter that made its successful impact became the focused topic for my day’s writing, because I needed to get a post out and didn’t have an idea on what to do.

Again, I’m proud of what I stood for and will continue to defend it. But, I think it would have made more of an impact on a community site or blog where you typically find posts like that. If I‘m writing for my audience, and I’m my own audience, then my baffled reaction to my own writing–specifically, “Why the hell did you write that?”—should tell me I’m doing something wrong.

So, I’m going to leave the discussion and soapbox rantings to my Twitter feed (don’t worry, I’ll still happily ramble on here though). For my personal blog—my public journal—I‘m going to stick with writing positive, helpful and inspirational postings. The types of posts I want to wake up to reading first thing with a warm cup of coffee. The type of blog I want to add to my feeds and check every morning.

The kind of project that makes me happy to see and excited to work on. Everyday.

Find your voice. Do what makes you happy. Then do it everyday. You deserve it.

And, as the song goes, “Don’t let happy days pass you by.”

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